Hi Everyone, and WELCOME to The Writing Fairy website. I'm Dorothea Helms, freelance writer, poet, book author, fiction dabbler, writing instructor, keynote speaker, humorist, wife, mother and slave to my English Bulldog, Margaret. My website is undergoing a facelift, boob lift, liposuction, weight loss program ... wait a minute - those are things I need personally. Sheesh. But my website IS in transition after being neglected for a LONG time. My goal is to inspire writers; my method humour (or humor in the U.S.). Enjoy!

Coaxing closet writers to emerge and make their magic known!

Ruth Walker and I are teaching our popular “Write to Win” workshop on May 28th. It is a fun, informative, exercise-filled day to help participants increase their chances of winning writing contests. It’s also a great source of information and inspiration for writers of all genres and levels – remember that getting published is like a big contest. We’ve had many past participants who have gone on to win writing contests, acquire freelance work, etc. I encourage you to register early, before the workshop fills up. Visit http://writescape.ca and check out workshops. Hope to see you there. And Ruth and I will behave ourselves, I promise. OK, I think. Well, maybe. Oh for goodness sake, we’ll try!

Hi all,

I admit I’m terrible at keeping up my website and blog. Why? No explanation. It’s not that I don’t love you all, but I look at maintaining my website as “homework” – and I play hooky a lot. That means I fritter away hours playing Solitaire with people around the world when I should be paying attention here. I’m only human – don’t judge me.

OK, judge me. Suffice it to say, I’ll be back on here shortly with something or other – news, writing, inspiration, insults – who knows?



Folks, I’m going to run my ever-popular “Make Money Writing” workshop on Sunday, October 18th at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge. Spoend an intensive few hours learning how to start and run a writing business and make a part- or full-time living from your home. Register at http://blueheronbooks.com/category/writing-classes


This column appeared in the January/February 2010 issue of “Word Weaver.”

As a freelance writer, I’ve had to develop a thick skin over the years, which accounts for my weight problem. In reality, I’m thin – but my skin weighs heavy. OK, OK – it was worth a try. I weigh what I weigh because Miss Vickie and Sarah Lee are my idols, and my idea of exercise is moving around piles of paper in my office so it looks like I’m filing.

Having said that, I stand by my guns when it comes to promoting a thick skin for writers. We all want to be adored by the reading public, but the truth is that no writer is beloved of everyone. Not even Shakespeare, which is hard to believe, because who wouldn’t love a guy who comes up with phrases like bawdy addlepated flax-wench and gleeking toad-spotted maggot-pie?

The earlier you get used to the fact that different writing voices appeal to different readerships, the better. It’s best to not take it personally – we humans are a picky and fickle bunch. And when it comes to rejection, well, that’s where the thick skin helps the most. Chances are that the rejections you receive reflect how much space the editor has in the upcoming issue and what else she/he has on the desk in the way of submissions. Timing is everything, and unless you have ESP, you just have to send out your stuff and hope for the best. I know, I know – rejection hurts. But honestly, in time you accept it as part of the game and get on with your writing life.

The fact is, rejections won’t kill you, and being asked to change your words now and then by editors is part of the writing-editing-publishing process. As I always say, love your writing but avoid falling in love with it. You know – love is blind, rose-coloured glasses and all that cliché stuff that is so true in our lives. Have faith in yourself, and when the editing requests and rejections come, do what my friend Steve Bond advises: shut up and take it like a man.


Saturday, May 23, 2015                         Write Funny for Money

10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.                                  Register at BlueHeronBooks.com

Advertising and humour go together like tortilla chips and salsa – you take something potentially bland and add zip to make people want more.

In this one-day workshop, experienced humour writer and ad copywriter Dorothea Helms, a.k.a. The Writing Fairy, will cover the basics of these two types of writing, which have surprisingly similar characteristics – even though not all advertising is funny. Hopefully, all humour writing is funny!

This workshop will cover:

  • How humour and ad writing differ from traditional writing
  • What humour and ad writing have in common
  • The basics of what makes something funny
  • The key formulas that guide humour writing
  • The parts of an ad, and how humour-writing techniques can help create both serious and humorous ad headlines
  • How humour-writing can inject pizzazz to your traditional writing

The workshop will culminate in an informative handout that participants can use at home when putting these techniques into practice.


Saturday, June 6, 2015                            Intro to Creative Writing

10:30 to 4:00 p.m.                                          Register at BlueHeron Books.com

Have you ever seen creative writing courses advertised and thought maybe you’d like to take one? Have you then chickened out, because you have no idea what it means to take a creative writing course? This one-day workshop offers a taste of The Writing Fairy’s popular 6-week fall course. Experience an awakening of what writing can do for you, and what you can do for it, in a safe, fun and non-stressful environment. Enjoy some on-the-spot writing exercises and share in the fascination of hearing yours and other participants’ voices come to life with the guidance of seasoned writer/editor/writing instructor Dorothea Helms, The Writing Fairy. Find out what avenues are open to you as far as publishing goes and the basics of what you need to know to make your work more publishable. Most of all, explore your passion for words and see where it might take you.


April 28 to June 2, 2015 (Tuesdays)   Advanced Writing for Wordies

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.                                            Register at BlueHeron Books.com

(Tuesday evenings)

Ready to take your writing to the next level? The Writing Fairy is ready to help you soar. Learn to mine ideas from unlikely sources, take risks that will capture the attention of editors/publishers and polish your writing to the professional level. Dorothea will provide the kick-in-the-butt that will get your “butt in chair” to live out your writing dreams. This course is for writers who have advanced beyond the beginner stage. Oh, and it will be a lot of fun!